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Musharraf: Bin Laden's Death Won't Weaken al-Qaida


Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf during an interview at VOA, Jul 21, 2011

Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf during an interview at VOA, Jul 21, 2011

Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says he does not think al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden's death will weaken the terrorist group.

In an interview with VOA's Urdu service, Mr. Musharraf said he was "surprised and shocked" that bin Laden was found in Pakistan.

Mr. Musharraf denied Pakistani support for bin Laden and said his discovery in Pakistan "was not complicity but negligence of the highest order." He called for punishment for anyone responsible.

When asked if bin Laden's death had weakened al-Qaida, the former president said he did not think so because the group is "actually made up of several groups that act independently." He said the same is true of the Taliban.

The May 2 killing of bin Laden in the northern Pakistani city of Abbottabad by U.S. special forces, conducted without previously notifying Pakistani authorities, further strained relations between the two countries.

Mr. Musharraf ruled nuclear-armed Pakistan from 1999 to 2008 and now lives in London.

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